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Sol Cocina – Exciting New Dishes and Single Barrel Tequila

Sol Cocina – Exciting New Dishes and Single Barrel Tequila


Sol Cocina Patio

Sol Cocina Patio, photo courtesy of Anne Watson Photography

One of my favorite restaurants for modern Mexican restaurants is Sol Cocina, which made it on Tom’s Foodie Blog’s Best Food in Orange County list. Sol Cocina spins up modern interpretations of traditional Baja cuisine with a penchant for the gourmet. The restaurant is known for their use of fresh ingredients and bold flavors. You will find items like their Vampiro taco, which is made with carne asada, chipotle salsa and cotixa cheese; this is the dish that got me hooked on Sol Cocina. The Sol kitchen is led by Mexican food veteran Deborah Schneider who has published award winning cookbooks including the James Beard nominated Season at Rancho La Puerta and Sol Cocina Schneider BookThe Mexican Slow Cooker. Sol Cocina constantly refreshes their menu with new a seasonal items. This post will two new items on their menu, their Viper taco and a super fancy single barrel. After tasting both of these items, I was inspired to publish this blog post. For you my readers, I sacrifice my waistline to bring you coverage of the best food in Southern California.


Sol Cocina Chef Deborah Schneider

Sol Cocina Chef Deborah Schneider Cooking up on the Sol Cocina Waterfront patio


Ghost Chili Taco Viper

Sol Cocina Viper Taco

Sol Cocina Viper Taco , photo courtesy of Anne Watson Photography

This taco was developed for eaters “who like serious heat”; although, I discovered its flavor stole the show from its spicy bite. I was warned that this taco was really hot, so I strategically placed a margarita nearby in case I needed to secretly cool down my tongue. Although as I chomped down, I found that the taco was moderate in heat, but spicy in flavor. Although my mouth was feeling the pleasant bite of the ghost chili, I wasn’t looking for tequila-based pain reliever.

The Viper taco is served on a corn tortilla, melted cheese, grilled chicken, “Viper Salsa”, and topped with a fresh avocado wedge. The black “Viper” salsa is made with dried chipotle meco, Indian ghost chili, caramelized onion, agave and blanco tequila. Chef Deborah Schneider’s recipe nailed the execution by providing a nice balance between heat and spicy flavors. I found the Viper Taco to be interesting, complex and just the right amount of spicy, just like me. I would definitely order a platter of these again.

Sol Cocina Viper Taco Platter

I really enjoy trying out the tacos on the waterfront patio over the Casa Noble Single Barrel Tequila. I took this picture :)



This is a fun Guacamole  perfect for the heat of the Summer. “Verano” means summer in Spanish and the summer reminds me of eating cool berries in the heat. You may be having the same reaction that I had when I heard of this dish, “What? Raspberries on Guacamole?” Although I was pleasantly surprised  that this combination was perfect! Guacamole is topped with sweet raspberries, dusted with a tart chili con limon and spicy serrano chiles, toasted almond slivers and cotixa enchilada cheese. I liked the complexity of the guacamole with its sweet, tart and spicy layers. There is no onion or garlic in this guac.

Sol Cocina Gaucamole Verano

Sol Cocina Guacamole Verano is a complex guacamole with spicy, sweet tart notes

Casa Noble Estate Single Barrel #259 Tequila.

Sol Cocina Casa Noble Single Barrel Tequila

Sol Cocina Casa Noble Single Barrel Tequila. This is the actual French oak barrel used to age the tequila.

Sol Cocina recently partnered with a craft tequila producer in Mexico called Casa Noble Estate. They were the first producer in the world to craft a single barrel respasado tequila. This craft practice is rare and imparts a unique flavor provided by being aged in a single French oak barrel for 365 days. Just like wine, this type of single barrel tequila is a snapshot of the regions soil and weather. Sol purchased one of these barrels for their restaurant, resulting only 360 bottles that will be poured to customers.  The flavor of the tequila was smooth on the first sip, with a balanced flavors. I was able to taste subtle notes of toasted caramel and chocolate. Although the single barrel Casa Noble estate tequila made a wonderful margarita, I liked it best served neat in its pure form.

Sol Cocina Casa Noble Single Barrel Tequila.

Sol Cocina Casa Noble Single Barrel Tequila.

If you like tequila or margaritas, check out Sol on Thursday from 6-8; they will be providing complimentary samples of tequila from the library of top shelf and collectible tequilas. If you like what you tasted, the featured tequilas can be purchased at the bar for half-off the normal price. If you are in the bar area for the margaritas, try out some of their tacos; you will not be disappointed. Sol is located on the Balboa Marina overlooking the water, so you will enjoy libations, food and a view. Click here to see their tequila tasting schedule.

For hours and menu, check out their website: http://www.solcocina.com/


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Sol Cocina on Urbanspoon

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. The GUACAMOLE ‘VERANO’ looks fab. Every time I read your blog, I want to go eat all the yummy food you share with us.

  2. Great review! If I’m ever in the area, this will be a MUST STOP place! Your blog always makes me hungry :)

  3. Alexandra McAllister

    WOW! I love all your reviews! For some reason, after reading and looking at the pics, I am hungry! The “Ghost Chili Taco Viper” would be my choice for today! Thank you!

  4. That taco and guacomole look totally delicious! Wish I was there!

  5. So you’re sacrificing your waistline, eh? Love it (smile). Thanks for doing that and do send some of the nummee guacamole this way please!

  6. Love your pic’s! Makes me very hungry for that guacamole!

  7. Meryl Hershey Beck

    I appreciate you sacrificing your waistline to bring us such great reviews! Perhaps take a walk by the water to make up for it?

  8. I love your reviews! Sol Cocina looks like an amazing place to eat at! The food looks delish and I want some now!!! Will have to check this place out!

  9. Moira Hutchison

    I really love Mexican food! The Guacamole Verano looks wonderful – what an amazing concoction of flavors!

  10. Daniele Holmberg

    Great place! I always love going there with you:) While the food is a little too spicy for me, I absolutely love those margaritas! :)

  11. Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com

    Oh my gosh – this sounds awesome! I will definitely keep it on the list of “must eat there” places when I visit that area. You are a great food / restaurant review writer, BTW – one definitely has the full picture by the end of your review!

  12. Would love to taste The GUACAMOLE ‘VERANO’recipe, love mexican food :)

  13. I’m going to try to duplicate the guacamole verano at home. It looks and sounds wonderful. And I’d love to try a veg version of the ghost chili taco. Thanks, Tom!

  14. Oh, my, how you challenge my imaginary taste buds. That taco sounds so good as well as the different type of guacamole. You made my mouth water for both. Thanks for sharing.

  15. So when are we all moving to OC? Tom, if you don’t stop tempting us with the mouth-watering descriptions and photos of fabulous dishes, you’re going to start a mini real estate boom! (But, whatever you do, don’t stop!)

  16. I’m so glad I eat dinner before I come to look at your blog, Tom! Although I have to admit that this time, my mouth is watering for a taste of that tequila. :)

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